May 2016

Code enforcement is a blessing when there is a property that needs to be reported. Maybe a remodeling project isn’t following NCD standards, or a sidewalk is impassible because a bush is blocking it. However, it is a curse when the person being cited is you. What does Code Enforcement do? They manage issues such as graffiti, bandit signs, garage sales, property maintenance, NCD violations, preservation, boarding homes and city code issues. They are the people who take reports when you call 311. When I attend Board of Adjustment meetings for the neighborhood, I hear the refrain, “I didn’t know: that I needed a permit; that this area has an NCD; that I couldn’t build whatever I want.” Not knowing the codes is not an excuse that the Board will accept, and the consequences can be very costly. The Codes are sometimes seem hard to understand and may seem complex but you can make the process easier by: • attending the BHANA ZUD (Zoning and Urban Design Committee) meetings where there is always a code compliance officer present who can answer your questions. • asking a ZUD member if they can help you find an answer or help you find the person who can answer your question. (Contact information on the back page of the newsletter.) • by researching, starting with the City’s webpage: • going down to the Cliff Morton Development and Business Services Center at 1901 S. Alamo. • coming to the May 9 membreship meeting to ask Martin Ruiz, Development Services Manager questions or to share comments. As the weather becomes warmer and we start thinking about fixing up our homes, it is important to check with the City to pull the correct permits for larger projects. Hope to see you at this month’s meeting.

Cynthia Merla Spielman